Woodruff

Guest Post: “Grave Marker Dedication of Revolutionary War Soldier Benjamin Woodruff on May 14, 2016”

This post was contributed by Sue Woodruff Noland. Her previous post on the topic of the Woodruff family can be found here.

Benjamin Woodruff Grave Marker - PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Benjamin Woodruff Grave Marker – PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Benjamin Woodruff, born 26 November 1744 to James Woodruff* (1722-1759) and Joanna ? (1722-1812), attended the Morristown Presbyterian Church.  He served during the Revolution with the New Jersey militia, leaving behind his wife and 3 children; his wife, Phoebe Pierson Woodruff, died 21 January 1777, aged 36, and one can only hope that Benjamin was able to be there with her and the children.  Benjamin married again 8 July 1778, to Patience Lum, daughter of Obadiah Lum, with whom he had more children he left behind as he served our country.  It has been certified that Benjamin served one monthly tour in 1776 as a drummer; three monthly tours as a sergeant in 1776, including an engagement near Elizabeth, NJ, on 17 December 1776.  He served under various captains to the close of the war.  [information from the genealogical history provided by Charles Marius Woodruff]

Grave marker - Note the misspelling of Freelove Sanford's first name - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Grave marker – Note the misspelling of Freelove Sanford’s first name – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Those of you who are familiar with Michigan and the Great Lakes, which is where I live, know how variable the weather can be; mid-May average temperature is mid-60s.  On May 14, 2016, the day of the Grave Marker Dedication Ceremony for Benjamin Woodruff, son Andrew and I, both descendants of Benjamin, encountered temperatures in the low 40s and brisk breezes that carried sleety-snowy-rain as we gathered at Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor, Michigan!

As was common in 1837, when Benjamin died, he was buried the following day and therefore was not accorded a military funeral.  The DAR and SAR strive to provide a service for our forgotten patriots; on this day another Revolutionary War soldier, Josiah Cutler, was honored with our ancestor, Benjamin.

Benjamin Woodruff Grave Market Dedication Ceremony – At podium: Phil Jackson, Huron Valley Chapter SAR – PHOTO COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

The ceremony began with a welcome from Phil Jackson, Huron Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).  Following Phil’s remarks, we watched the posting of colors and standards with bearers dressed in Revolutionary War period uniforms.  Thomas Pleuss, Chaplain of the Huron Valley Chapter SAR, gave the invocation, and then Kate Kirkpatrick, from the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter made some remarks, followed by remarks from a representative from each patriot’s family.  Thomas Woodruff and Frank Ticknor (Josiah’s family) each presented a brief history of our respective ancestor.  This portion of the ceremony was conducted about mid-way between the two patriot’s graves.  After family remarks, the ceremony was conducted separately at each grave site.

Thomas Woodruff receiving flag - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL - USED WITH PERMISSION

Descendant Thomas Woodruff receiving flag – Sue Woodruff Noland in purple shawl looking on; her son Andrew is on the left in a plaid jacket – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL – USED WITH PERMISSION

Benjamin’s grave site is a family memorial with several of his family interred there.  Tom and his son, Michael, generously purchased a marker for Benjamin indicating his service as a Revolutionary War patriot.  (The US government ‘declined’ to provide a marker.)  Our grateful thanks to Tom and Michael’s families for researching Revolutionary War markers and commissioning the marker to be made.  The marker was unveiled before our nation’s tribute, the folding of the flag.  Since there was no flag pole, the ceremony actually involved unfolding a flag brought by the SAR/DAR for the occasion, and then refolding it as a story was told about the meaning of the folds, the last fold being a representation of a mother tucking in her child for the night—a story made up sometime in the past, but a touching story nonetheless.  Once folded, the flag was presented to Tom.  We were then cautioned that the next part of the ceremony would be the military tribute, a 21-gun (and 2 muskets) salute—startlingly loud!

Twenty-one gun salute - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL - USED WITH PERMISSION

Twenty-one gun salute – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL – USED WITH PERMISSION

The veterans Honor Guard of Washtenaw County (Michigan), the Indiana Society Color Guard, and the Ohio Society Color Guard performed the tribute of three volleys.  The 21 spent shells were given to Tom, who offered one to each of the family as a memento of the day.

Sword Ceremony - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL - USED WITH PERMISSION

Sword Ceremony – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: CHUCK MARSHALL – USED WITH PERMISSION

The Sword Salute was by far the most touching part of the ceremony for me.  Three of the Color Guard detached from the group.  The leader explained that, on command, the three of them would tip their tri-corn hats to honor our patriot and then bow, touching the ground with their swords, to show humility for Benjamin’s service to us and our country.  To conclude the ceremony there was a sounding of taps by two buglers.

Both families (Woodruff and Cutler) came together once again after Josiah’s ceremony, for floral tributes from several SAR, DAR, and CAR groups (Children of the American Revolution).  These organizations developed at various times with the objective of keeping alive their ancestors’ stories of patriotism and courage “in the belief that it is a universal one of man’s struggle against tyranny….” [from SAR website]  The conclusion of the entire ceremony was a bagpipe tribute to both soldiers, by Herm Steinman.

Bagpiper who performed at the ceremony - IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Bagpiper who performed at the ceremony – IMAGE COPYRIGHT: SUE WOODRUFF NOLAND

Chilled to the bone, but eager to meet cousins we didn’t even know existed a few short weeks before, we gathered with Benjamin’s other descendants at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Ann Arbor, as guests of Tom and his wife, Jane, and Mike and his wife and tiny daughter.  We met ‘new’ cousins, including Tom and Mike’s families, as well as Pam Olander from the Chicago area and reacquainted ourselves with cousins who had attended one of the Woodruff family reunions we organized during the mid-2000s.  The room was quite abuzz with everyone sharing history and asking questions.  Tom told us the motto on our Woodruff Coat of Arms, “Sit Dux Sapientia,” translates as “Let wisdom be your guide;” we had not known the motto, only the shield design.

The day before the ceremony, Andrew and I had met Pam at the Bentley Historical Library on the U of M campus in Ann Arbor.  We spent over two hours poring through Woodruff documents stored at the Library and were finally able to answer a question:  Why would John Woodruff leave England in 1640?  The answer: he seems to have decided that King Charles I was taking too much of the family income via taxes.  Later, it seems our Benjamin, living in the colonies, may not quite have agreed with King George III’s Stamp Act of 1765 (and a few others: sugar tax, currency, etc.), thus leading to his participation in the Revolutionary War a few years later.

If any of you should travel to Michigan in the future, for research at the Library or simply to visit Benjamin’s final resting place (he was moved to Forest Hill from another site), we would love to meet any ‘new’ cousins.

 

*James Woodruff (b. 1722, Elizabethtown, NJ) was the son of Benjamin Woodruff (1684-1726) and Susanna (1686-1727), both of whom were born and died in Elizabethtown, NJ.

Categories: Ann Arbor, CAR, DAR, Lineage Societies, Michigan, New Jersey, Revolutionary War, SAR, Woodruff | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Last group photos of the Woodruff sisters, early 1950s

My garage clear-out yielded these two group photos of my grandmother Fannie B. Woodruff and her five sisters, Jennie, Flora, Mildred, Cecelia, and Bertha—the children of William Earl Woodruff and Wealthy Ann Angus. The photos were damaged and faded, but some “Photoshopping” has helped to revive them a bit. Oldest sister Jennie died in October 1955 so the image was obviously taken sometime prior to that. Sister Flora Ulrich lived out in California, so maybe this photo was taken to commemorate her visit to New Jersey or to mark some other special/solemn occasion, perhaps even the death of one of their spouses. My grandfather died in May 1951 and Jennie’s in December 1953. The location I am not sure of; but I think it may have been my grandmother’s home in Scotch Plains, NJ. I think it’s somewhat sweet that in the top photo they are all looking in different directions as if trying to catch their best sides. In the photos I have of them in their much younger years, all heads were always pointed in the same direction.

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Front Row: Jennie Bell Woodruff Coleman, Fannie Bishop Woodruff Brodhead, Flora May Woodruff Baker Ulrich /// Back Row: Bertha Winans Woodruff, Wealthy Mildred Woodruff Brown, Cecelia Russum Woodruff Van Horn

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Front Row: Bertha (daughter #6) and Jennie (daughter #1) Back Row: Cecelia (daughter #3), Mildred (daughter #5), Fannie (daughter #4), Flora (daughter #2)

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Categories: Brodhead, Brown, Coleman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Hillside Union, New Jersey, Russum, Scotch Plains, Ulrich, Van Horn, Winans, Woodruff | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Guest Post: “Woodruff Ancestors” by Sue Woodruff-Noland

Today’s post was generously contributed by Sue Woodruff-Noland who got in touch with me several months ago to share some very interesting information on her Woodruff-related travels and Woodruff ancestors. We figured out that our common Woodruff ancestor is John “the Elder” Woodruff (b. 1637, m.  Sarah Ogden), so we are cousins albeit very distant ones! I hope this blog’s readers, particularly those who are Woodruff descendants, will find Sue’s post of great interest. Please feel free to leave comments in the box below.
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St Mary, Fordwich Kent – Royal Arms Royal Arms dated 1688 over chancel arch, “WR”, Willielmus Rex, (King William III). No arms shown or impaled of his wife Queen Mary II (Wikimedia: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: John Salmon)

The days in Northern Michigan are still warm and steamy, but the rascally squirrels are busy hiding acorns, so I think I need to gather “acorns of wisdom” and share them with the generations of John “The Immigrant” Woodruff (1604, Fordwich, Kent, England), whose descendants are abundant.

Likely you all know the lineage from John and where your lines diverge.  From the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, my son, Andrew (the family genealogist) and I have further records provided by a descendant named Charles M. Woodruff (1851-1932) that pre-date John “The Immigrant.”  Charles states, “The facts are attested by documentary and historical records; wills, marriage licenses, church rolls, etc.  The generations from our progenitor, John Gosmer, gentleman, Mayor of Fordwich, England, 1638 are eleven generations.”

From Charles’ genealogy:

1503, Thomas Woodruff (1), Fordwich, Eng., a jurat, and “trusted envoy of ye town.”  Died 1552.

William Woodroffe (2), son of Thomas, senior jurat, “key keeper of town chest, a very honorable office conferred upon the two best men of the liberty;” died 1587.

Robert Woodroffe, married Alice Russell at St. Mary Northgate, antiguous to Fordwich, 1573; he and his brother William figure in town books as freemen; William’s line became extinct in 1673; Robert is recorded as jurat and church warden in 1584, died in 1611.

Charles then records John (5), John (6), and John (6)A.  Our common ancestor is John (5), baptized at St. Mary Northgate in 1604.  Hopefully you have been able to follow…vaguely?… along thus far.  Genealogy is not my strong suit; telling stories is.  And here is our story.

In early October 2014 I called Andrew and asked if he would like to go to Ireland to explore our ancestral homeland, Co. Mayo.  Of course, he jumped at the opportunity; he also asked to add on a week in England to explore ancestral areas there, and a two-week trip became three. (Son, Neil, living and working in China, was unable to arrange so much time off work to join us.)

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Fordwich sign (Photo copyright: Sue Woodruff-Noland)

About 10 years ago, Andrew serendipitously acquired the 1597 Geneva Bible belonging to the Woodruff family.  Woodruff cousins paid for a specially made box to preserve the remains of the Bible (at least the first five books of the Bible are worn away, i.e., g-o-n-e), though happily and thankfully the center pages remain intact. I bought Andrew a new, sturdy backpack and on 9 May 2015 the Woodruff Family Bible began its ancestral journey back home to Fordwich, Kent, England.

1650 cottage

1650 Cottage (Photo copyright: Sue Woodruff-Noland)

We arrived in London 10 May and did a very cursory tour of London, leaving Tuesday, 12 May for Canterbury, arriving around 10 a.m.  After taking luggage from the rear seat and the ‘boot’ to our assigned room, we set out for our ancestral village, Fordwich, about four miles northeast of Canterbury.  Fordwich is Britain’s smallest town and first recorded as an inhabited place in 675 A. D. I’m not sure if we saw the entire tiny village or not.  We walked along sun-dappled lanes, past both a large, modern home and also quaint, sweet little cottages (note the 1650 designation on the cottage pictured here!)

And then, there it was: our ancestor’s church, the Church of St. Mary the Virgin (St. Mary’s Church.)

St. Mary’s Church

Church of St. Mary the Virgin (St. Mary’s Church) (Photo copyright: Sue Woodruff-Noland)

The church dates from around 1100, in Norman times. Andrew (I gained several rear shots in 3 weeks!) and I approached the church’s entry along a path through a tree shaded cemetery with assorted tombstones, many of indeterminate (old) dates. St. Mary’s closed in 1995, passing, at that time, into The Churches Conservation Trust—and for this we are very grateful on this fine Tuesday in May 2015.

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The nave of the church of St. Mary the Virgin (Wikimedia Commons: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: pam fray)

We entered the church in awe, to think that our ancestors worshiped here, may have been ‘baptized, married, and buried’ from here more than 400 years before.  Not surprisingly, we had the church to ourselves and took our time exploring the nave and North aisle (added in the late 12th century.) The tower was inaccessible and the chancel was blocked by the altar rails, which date from the 1600s and comprise thickly set balusters to stop dogs from defiling the Holy Table.  Nearby was a lectern and that is where Andrew carefully placed our Family Bible.

Woodruff Bible

Woodruff Family Bible (Photo copyright: Sue Woodruff-Noland)

There is a benefactions plaque upon the wall in the narthex that lists a Daniel Woodruff, but this name needs to be researched to determine if he is of our line—apparently there were a great many Woodruffs in Fordwich 400 years ago. Later, while touring Canterbury Cathedral, we spoke with a volunteer, perhaps in her 70s, who has lived in Fordwich all her life and she was not aware of any Woodruff family any longer residing in the area.

Organ

Church organ (Photo copyright: Sue Woodruff-Noland)

Andrew and I didn’t talk much as we made our way around inside the church, each of us engrossed in our own thoughts. Like church mice, first here, then there, into the vestry, out of the vestry, and back for another look at the old organ.  I imagined someone playing A Mighty Fortress is Our God in the 1600s, if the congregation was wealthy enough to have an organ then?

The Chapel of St. Catherine, in the eastern section of the North aisle, was converted at some point in the church’s history.  The church organ is accessed here in the vestry and was rebuilt in 1889; it came from St. Martin’s Church, Canterbury, in 1908.

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Fordwich Parish Registers box (Photo copyright: Sue Woodruff-Noland)

The Fordwich Parish Registers box was tucked in a corner of the NE side of the nave.  Such boxes would have contained baptism, marriage, and burial records.  Where the records from this box may be stored is unknown (no docent is on site to answer questions.)  It is a lifetime endeavor for us to uncover any records and our family’s history!

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Close-up of Woodruff Bible (Photo copyright: Sue Woodruff-Noland)

Though we don’t have the records that may have been stored in the Registers box, I can clarify for you what the entry in our Family Bible reads (rather confusingly, to me):

The Age of Benjamin Woodruff.  He was born November the 26 Anno: 1744.  Being the only one of my grandfather’s family that is now liveing [sic] this March the 23 day Anno 1785.  Benjamin Woodruff was born November 26 A 1744 and died 18 October 1837.  Benjamin Woodruff’s property June 2d A 1805 (?)  Benjamin Woodruff’s property Joanna D (?) 1805 Nov. 5 died July (?) Joanna Benjamin died July 28, 1812.

The Benjamin who died in 1837 is our Revolutionary War soldier, about whom I will write a separate story for you.  I am not aware of any Benjamin who died in 1812, whether I am misreading it, or if the person who wrote it misspoke.  There are multiple Johns and Benjamins in the family, too many for my muddled mind!

The Stour River (Wikimedia Commons: this file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: Joonas Plaan)

The Stour River (Wikimedia Commons: this file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: Joonas Plaan)

I have about 30 photos taken in Fordwich, mostly inside the church, but about a quarter of them of the outside grounds.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit Fordwich, I think you, too, will be humbled by the history of the settlement of this once important maritime port city on the River Stour where our ancestors once lived…and where, to this day, the Cinque Ports Confederation, an annual Civic service, is still attended by dignitaries from other Cinque Ports, held in our ancestral church.

In July 2016, the Woodruff family Bible was donated to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where two or three boxes of Woodruff documents dating back to the 1840s are stored.  All items are available for Woodruff researchers and contain fascinating reading.

Categories: England, Fordwich Kent Co, Woodruff | Tags: , | 2 Comments

July 1952 – Obit for Mrs. Joseph W. Woodruff

Another clipping saved by my grandmother: the brief July 1952 obit for Mrs. Bessie Scott Woodruff (née Fry), widow of Joseph Whitehead Woodruff (b. 1873). Joseph was the son of Ogden Woodruff and Phebe Asenath Bonnell,  younger brother of Rev. Frank Stiles Woodruff, and older brother of Carrie Elizabeth Woodruff. Joseph was one of twelve children in all; the two specifically mentioned have appeared in past posts. The home at 866 Salem Avenue was also featured in a past post: “Old Woodruff Family Homestead: Witness to American History.” My grandmother’s father William Earl Woodruff (b. 1848) was one of Joseph’s cousins, although there was a 25-year age difference between them.

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Angus_BessieWoodruff_obitThe Woodruff House at 866 Salem Avenue - present day

The Woodruff House at 866 Salem Avenue – present day

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Woodruff | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Obit for Mary Jane Woodruff (1833-1916)

Grave of Mary Jane Woodruff (and her younger brother William Henry) in First Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ; Creative commons attribution license cc-by-2.5, attribution ‘R.E.H.’.

Grave of Mary Jane Woodruff (and her younger brother William Henry) in First Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ; Creative commons attribution license cc-by-2.5, attribution ‘R.E.H.’.

Just a brief post today: the nearly 100-year-old obituary notice for Mary Jane Woodruff, daughter of Henry King Woodruff and Abby Winans Angus Woodruff, which was saved along with a bunch of other clippings by my grandmother.

Mary Jane (single, never married) died on November 30, 1916, at age 84, at the home of her cousin Mary Martha Angus Knowles (1846-1922) and Mary Martha’s husband Austin Fellows Knowles (d. 1924). (Their beautiful house located at 924 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ, was featured in a previous post.)

Below is a tree showing how they were related. My great-grandmother Wealthy Angus Woodruff, one of Mary Martha’s sisters, was a cousin as well. She lived a little less than 3 miles away on the Woodruff family farmhouse located on Conant Street and was probably a frequent guest in the Knowles’ home.

Mary Jane was buried in the First Presbyterian Churchyard. She shares a gravestone with her younger brother William Henry Woodruff (1836-1913).

I have another Woodruff obit to share, but will do so in a separate post. Have a great day, all.

1-Jacob Baker Angus b. possibly 13 Oct 1786, c. 26 Nov 1786, First 
  Presbyterian Church, Albany, NY, d. 27 Mar 1828, Hester Street, New York 
  City, New York USA, bur. Methodist Society Cemetery, New York, NY
 +Mary Winans b. 1784, Elizabethtown, NJ, d. 27 Nov 1824, New York City, Kings 
  County, NY, bur. Stone #1249, First Presbyterian Church yard, Elizabeth, 
  Union Co., NJ
|--2-James Winans Angus b. 10 May 1810, New York City, New York USA, d. 23 
|    Dec 1862, Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ, bur. First Presbyterian Church yard of 
|    Elizabeth, NJ
|   +Wealthy Ann Jaques b. 15 Dec 1815, New York City, New York. NY, d. 7 Mar 
|    1892, At Home, 25 Reid Street, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, bur. First 
|    Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ
|  |--3-Mary Martha Winans Angus b. 20 Aug 1846, Mexico City, Mexico, d. 16 Jan 
|  |    1922, Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ
|  |   +Austin Fellows Knowles b. Mauch Chunk, Carbon Co., PA (Jim Thorpe, PA), 
|  |    d. 20 Aug 1924
|--2-Abigail Winans Angus b. 16 Jul 1812, Albany, New York, USA, d. 16 Mar 
|    1905, 1177 S. Chestnut St., Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ, bur. First 
|    Presbyterian Church yard of Elizabeth, NJ
|   +Henry King Woodruff b. 1806, New York, USA, d. 1852, Elizabeth, New 
|    Jersey, USA
|  |--3-Mary Jane Woodruff b. 1833, New York, NY, d. 30 Nov 1916, Home of Mrs. 
|  |    AF Knowles, 924 Elizabeth Ave, Elizabeth, Union, NJ, bur. First Pres. 
|  |    Church of Elizabeth, Union, NJ

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Knowles_house_924ElizAve


			
Categories: Angus, Death, Elizabeth, Union Co., Knowles, Obituaries, Presbyterian, Woodruff | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Image circa late 1890s – Elizabeth, NJ – One Coleman, several unknowns

Here is an image of a few unknowns. I love the photographer! I’m quite certain that’s C. Clarence Coleman on the right. He was born in 1877 and he looks to be about 20 here, maybe younger. I’m not very good with ages. The young fellow to his left looks very familiar but I can’t place him. For some reason this photo was mixed in with some Brodhead family photos which initially struck me as odd given young Coleman is in the photo, but my Grandmother Brodhead was a Woodruff and her older sister Jennie ended up as Clarence’s bride in 1904, so perhaps those connections were all in the process of being established or in place when this photo was taken. Everything would be clearer if I knew who these other folks were. If anyone can identify them, please let me know. The woman on the left looks a bit like Clarence—perhaps, a sister?
Have a great day, All!
PS: The fence is the exact same type my dad built around our swimming pool in the early 1970s. I wonder if the inspiration came from this very spot, provided the fence here lasted another 30-40 years!
Unknown_image_photographer

Categories: Angus, Coleman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Miscellaneous, Woodruff | Tags: , | 7 Comments

Last of the Coleman family photos – two unknowns – 1917 & 1918

Here are two more photos that belonged to the Coleman family. They are unlabelled, and I have no idea who these folks are. Perhaps they are Coleman or Woodruff family members. If anyone reading this has any thoughts, please leave a comment. Thanks!

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Unknown woman; photographer Newman (?), dated 1918

unknown_coleman2a

Unknown child; photographer Newman (?), dated 1917

Categories: Coleman, Woodruff | Tags: | Leave a comment

Circa 1900? – Unidentified lady with cat & little girl at tennis court

Here’s and interesting photo that was in the Colemans‘ possession. It is unlabelled. As far as a date goes, I am thinking 1890s/early 1900s? Thoughts, anyone? It’s highly possible these are Coleman / Angus / Woodruff family members, but so far I can’t make any best guesses. I’m assuming the photo was taken somewhere in Elizabeth, New Jersey, given that’s where they were all based at the time, with a few exceptions. If anyone recognizes this lady and little girl, please let me know. Thank you!

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Elizabeth, New Jersey, tennis court – unidentified woman with cat and young girl

Categories: Angus, Coleman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Tennis, Woodruff | Leave a comment

Jennie Belle Woodruff (1873-1955) & Charles Clarence Coleman (1877-1953)

As promised in my July 25 post, I am adding some more Coleman family photos to this blog. Jennie Belle Woodruff Coleman was the daughter of William Earl Woodruff & Wealthy Ann Angus. Jennie was the oldest of six children, all daughters. I have posted photos of the sisters previously. For those images, click here, and here.

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Doctor’s bill for delivering Jennie Belle Woodruff (from our family archives)

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Baby Jennie Belle Woodruff, eldest of six daughters of William Earl Woodruff and Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff; born 24 November 1873 in Elizabeth, NJ.

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Jennie Belle Woodruff, undated, but probably ca 1875/6; love her ‘Glum Plum’ expression; perhaps, it was nap time and crankiness was setting in

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Jennie Belle Woodruff holding tulips, undated, on occasion of graduation, ca. 1891? Or engagement? In the case of the latter she would have been approx. 31 here (she married on 16 June 1904)

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I found what I believe is an image of Clarence as a young man (left); I’ve compared it to a photo of him in his early 40s, and I think there is a strong likeness.

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Jennie Belle Woodruff Coleman with daughter Jennie Belle (b. Oct 1914)

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Daughter Jennie Belle, ca. 1917

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Daughter Jennie Belle, circa 1919; she endured a lifelong struggle with distonia, a neurological movement disorder.

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The Coleman Family (Charles Clarence (‘C.C’) with wife Jennie Belle Woodruff and daughter Jennie Belle) – ca. 1922

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Daughter Jennie Belle Coleman, circa 1930; HS graduation?

Daughter Jennie Belle Coleman

Daughter Jennie Belle Coleman; college graduation photo?; graduated with a degree in teaching; was a member of the DAR (her patriot was Hezekiah Hand, her paternal grandmother’s great-grandfather)

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Two articles: House burglary in 1914 and Clarence’s 1937 appointment to Commissioner

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Jennie Belle Woodruff Coleman, undated

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Jennie Belle Woodruff Coleman with Charles Clarence Coleman, undated (late 1940s/early 1950s?)

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Daughter Jennie Belle Coleman (left) – 1970s

Categories: Coleman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Woodruff | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Elizabeth, NJ: Coleman house interior

Coleman_house_interior This is the northeast corner of Clarence and Jennie (Woodruff) Coleman‘s living room in the house they built at 17 Wilder Street in Elizabeth, NJ, in 1912, I believe. The living room was on the left when you walked through the front door. The photograph was taken professionally, by ‘John L. Soltis’ of Elizabeth, and is undated. The house was torn down in the 1970s and replaced with an apartment building.

The C. Clarence Coleman family home at 17 Wilder Street, late 1930s/early 1940s (Standing, third from the left, is Jennie Woodruff Coleman; Clarence is the gentleman in the hat to her left. Their daughter is to Jennie's right. My dad, a nephew of Clarence and Jennie is standing by the door to the truck)

The C. Clarence Coleman family home at 17 Wilder Street, late 1930s/early 1940s (Standing, third from the left, is Jennie Woodruff Coleman; Clarence is the gentleman in the hat to her left. Their daughter is to Jennie’s right. My dad, a nephew of Clarence and Jennie is standing by the door to the truck)

How did we end up with this photo, you may be asking? After the Coleman’s daughter Jennie (only child; never married) died in the 1990s, we were contacted by a cousin of hers who lived in a NJ seaside town. At the time, my mom was in Florida (dad had passed away five years earlier), and I was living in London. The cousin told us that there were “a lot of family papers and other items that you should have, but it’s a lot and we can’t possibly ship it.” I had some vacation time and mom was retired so we met in Newark and drove down to get all of this stuff. When we arrived we were shown a couple of regular-size boxes, nothing that could not have been shipped… Needless to say we were ever so slightly annoyed, but on the other hand, got to converse with this cousin of Jennie’s and her spouse, both in their 70s by then, on family & family history matters.

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Clarence and Jennie (Woodruff) Coleman with daughter Jennie, circa 1920

These boxes, containing some photos, newspaper clippings, year books and other memorabilia, were all that was left of the Coleman estate, at least as far as family members were concerned. The rest of the estate, which was quite substantial in both money and antiques, was all taken by the executor who moved out of state. A lawsuit was filed (all public record), and eventually this individual was removed from the executorship of the estate by court order. But, by the time that happened, there was nothing… he’d supposedly spent it all—all the fruits of Clarence Coleman’s labor.

I remember sitting on that beautiful, antique sofa many times. It was unlike anything we’d seen elsewhere as kids in the 1960s, and the picture on the wall above it always captivated me. The books and things in the corner were off-limits to us little kids, of course. I have vague memories of the rest of the room. I believe there was a fireplace on the west side of the room, as well as doors leading out to the covered porch.

I will probably publish another one or two posts containing the rest of the materials we have from this family. There are no descendants, so I think it’s important that their lives be remembered in this blog, especially since (I think) that is unlikely to happen anywhere else, now or in the future.

Coleman_Clarence

Categories: Coleman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Woodruff | Tags: , | 6 Comments

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The Good, the Bad and the Italian

food/films/families and more

dvn ms kmz time travel

This is all about my travels to the past... my reflections and musings about yesteryear, as I find the stories of a people passed away and learn how to tell them.

newarkpoems

350 years of Newark in verse 1666-2016

Russian Universe

Understanding Russia with a Russian

Bulldog Travels

Everything and Nothing Plus Some Pretty Photos

Dances with Wools

knitting, spinning, dyeing, and related fiber arts

Life After Caregiving

On caregivers, faith, family, and writing...

Why'd You Eat That?

Food Folklore for the everyday scholar. These are the stories behind the foods we eat.

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Circulating Now

from the historical collections of the world's largest biomedical library

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time

Almost Home

Genealogy Research and Consulting

Old Bones Genealogy of New England

Genealogy and Family History Research

ferrebeekeeper

Reflections Concerning Art, Nature, and the Affairs of Humankind (also some gardening anecdotes)

Map of Time | A Trip Into the Past

Navigating Through Someplace Called History

Out Here Studying Stones

Cemeteries & Genealogy

WeGoBack

family research ... discover your ancestry

the Victorian era

Did I misplace my pince-nez again? Light reading on the 19th century.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This is the story of an ordinary family, trying to live an ordinary life during an extraordinary time frame, and the lessons they learn through experience.

The Civil War Gazette

Keeping the stories alive from the American Civil War

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Meeting my family

RESEARCHING MY FAMILY TREE

Shaking the tree

musings on the journey towards knowing and sharing my family's stories

Among My Branches

Exploring My Kernan, Lapham, Hamilton, & Sebok Ancestries One Branch at a Time

A Hundred Years Ago

Food and More

Scots Roots

Helping you dig up your Scots roots.

Root To Tip

Not just a list of names and dates

Food Perestroika

Adventures in Eastern Bloc Cuisine

My Aunt the WAC

Marian Solomon's midlife transition from the farm to the Women's Army Corps (WACs)

Being Em | From Busan to America

this journey is my own, but i'm happy to share.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Daily Online Genealogy Newsletter

Irish in the American Civil War

Exploring Irish Emigration & Irish Involvement in the American Civil War

TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

Genealogy: Looking For "Dead People"!

Cemeteries of Brunswick, Maine

To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell

Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

Zimmerbitch

age is just a (biggish) number) NUMBER

The People of Pancho

At Play In The Archive

TRACK

Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea

Rose of Sharon Healing

Healing for the Nations

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Discovering Your Ancestors - One Gene at a Time

Monkey Map

The completed project of three years of mapping monkey puzzle trees

A SILVER VOICE FROM IRELAND

An Eclectic mix of items from a 'senior' blogger in Ireland looking at the past and keeping an eye on the present.

Opening Doors in Brick Walls

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

jerseyrootsgenealogy

A Garden State Journey in Genealogy

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